Friday, June 19, 2009

Pre States Thoughts

Well it looks like I’m going to make it to the starting line. I should be healthy (I think) and fit, (for the most part). Since the American River 50 mile, I had a down week, 3 weeks at 100 miles, couple of weeks around 60-70 due to an injury, and 3 more weeks around 100 miles. I was planning on a gradual taper starting 3 weeks out, but it’s been a steeper drop off than I wanted due to another injury. But I’m here now. I’ve had some painful runs that I probably should have skipped and many wonderful ones that reminded me how much I love this sport. My extra long runs have been 39, 50, 32, & a 46 solo. They have all gone well with no real major issues. I’ve been hitting the sauna and have done a few overdressed runs to hopefully help my body deal with the heat. This is the time to second guess your training. Did I start my taper to early? Should I have done at least one more run over 50 miles? Did I do enough downhill?? I know I should have hit the Rooster Rock at least one more time. In the end I’m sure we all could have trained just a little smarter and that keeps us coming back I guess. This training period has really been a balance of finding my limits. Not so much doing amazing workouts and high volume, but more knowing when to back off just long enough to stay healthy. Seems I have had just about everything pop up this season. My left knee thing has been with me the entire time, but I can keep it in check by not doing to many miles and keeping up my physical therapy exercises. I had a good scare by hurting my Tibialis anterior in early May by running downhill fast with no warm up. It was difficult to walk let alone run after that one. I started getting pain on my right heel in the mornings (tends to go away within a ½ hour) and recently I pulled something in my left calf running to fast on the track. The calf thing is what I’m worried about quite a bit right now, but I’m hoping that if I don’t run all that much these last few days it should be good enough. I like to pretend that this constant push / pull in training will help me problem solve and deal with issues during the race, at least that’s how I’m going to spin it. The race starts well before June 27th and many of us beat ourselves before we even make it to the start line. As our most famous enemy of the state, Dick Cheney, said, “you go to war with the army you have not the one you wish you had”. I think the rest of his quote is “…the important thing however is going to war”. What are my goals for my first Western States run? I’ve been thinking about that a lot recently. Having come face to face with the mortality of my running career last year I’d say my number one goal is to start and finish. I also hope to find out a little bit more about myself. Not to misrepresent myself, I plan to place as well as I can but I’m trying to keep the competition element in perspective. I’m really looking forward to sharing what I think will be an incredibly difficult, soul searching journey with hundreds of other folks like me. Final thought: I should have done Rooster one more time.

Monday, June 1, 2009

American River 50 mile Race Report

Matt Lonergan and I went out in a very comfortable 6:20 pace, knowing that we should know better. However there was another group up front running faster, so that made me feel like I was being smart. Things were still smooth around the first hill at about 19. I had a friend (Steve Brusig) handing me full bottles so my aid stations were going fast. I was trying out the First Endurance gel bottles, and had the super smart idea of just having Steve hand it to me then downing it (4 gels worth) and giving it back to him so I didn't have to carry the flask. I only tried that twice, obviously not a great idea. I came through the marathon at 2:50, probably in 6th or 7th. The trail section from maybe 30-40 was much more technical than I expected and I think it took a lot out of me. Steve joined me for the last 10 miles which was really helpful. Mile 40 to around 47 was much easier running, and I tried to get back into it with limited success. I also had some stomach issues and was feeling bloated. As a result, I wasn't taking any GU's and took more water instead of GU2O. I had a VERY slow climb the last few miles I was passed by one runner. My weight was up some at the end and I think I took a total of about 15 S! caps. The weather was amazing and the course was surprisingly scenic, especially towards the end. I defiantly learned some lessons (don’t take a ton of gel all at once). It would have been nice to finish better, but overall I was happy with it. My folks met me at the end and we all received a nice finisher’s jacket. Much like Cool, the race course was changed some from its historic route so it was hard to tell how my time compared to previous runs.